Lotus' 1.2-liter range extender engine will be displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. As part of a project to create an executive saloon with less than 120g/km emissions, the unit will be fitted to a Jaguar XJ.
The unit, which produces 47bhp is similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt. Powering both the car's electric motor and battery pack is the 56kg three-cylinder petrol engine that is attached to an electricity generator.
The engine features an aluminum monoblock construction integrating the cylinder block, cylinder head and exhaust manifold in one casting.
As a result, it reduces weight, assembly costs and engine size, while improving emissions and durability. Both alcohol-based fuels and petrol can be used.
This all-new design has been created by Lotus Engineering, the company's consultancy-division, and will be sold to other manufacturers.
However, a Lotus spokesman said that it's possible that the engine could appear in a Lotus. Initially the Lotus range extender has been developed for a Jaguar, as part of the Limo-Green project funded by Lotus Engineering, Jaguar, MIRA and Caparo.
Jaguar said that this technology could find its way into its road cars. The next car to test the new Lotus range extender will be an XJ mule that will be ready by the end of the year.